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Medical Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

Labile Hypertension   Dico Tools
Blood pressure that frequently fluctuates between normal and abnormal during the course of a day, often within only a few minutes (see Hypertension).

Labium   Dico Tools
Latin = lip (plural labia), adjective - labial.

Labrum   Dico Tools
Latin = rim.

Labyrinth   Dico Tools
Greek labyrinthos = maze, adjective - labyrinthine.

Lacerum   Dico Tools
Latin lacer = mangled, hence, lacerated, torn.

Lacrimal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin lacrima = a tear (drop).

LACTATION   Dico Tools
Production of breast milk.

Lacteal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin lac = milk, hence, resembling milk.

Lactic   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin lac = milk.

Lactic Acidosis   Dico Tools
Rare but potentially lethal condition in which blood lactic acid levels increase (see Diabetes).

Lactiferous   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin lac = milk, and ferre = to carry.

Lactose Intolerance   Dico Tools
The inability of the body to break down lactose; results in gastrointestinal distress (see Digestive Health).

Lacuna   Dico Tools
Latin lacus = lake, hence, a small pond or gap, adjective, lacunar.

Lambda   Dico Tools
Greek letter representing a capital 'L' and written as an inverted V.

Lambdoid   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek lambda, representing a capital 'L' and written as an inverted V; hence, like that letter.

Lamella   Dico Tools
Diminutive of Latin lamina = plate; hence, a small plate.

Lamina   Dico Tools
Latin = plate, either a layer of nervous tissue, like the laminae of the lateral geniculate body, or a connective tissue membrane, like lamina cribrosa sclerae, or of bone, as in vertebral laminae; hence, laminectomy = lamina + Greek ektome = excision - excision of the vertebral laminae to give access to the spinal cord; adjective - laminar.

LAMIVUDINE (Brand Name EPIVIR-HBV)   Dico Tools
A nucleoside analogue medicine used to treat chronic hepatitis B and HIV produced by GlaxoSmithKline. Lamivudine is not recommended as a first line of HBV treatment because of the high rate of drug resistance.

Lanugo   Dico Tools
Latin lana = wool, hence, the fine downy hair on the skin of the foetus, or cheeks.

A type of liver biopsy using a laparoscope.

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A procedure in which a lighted instrument is inserted through an abdominal incision for the purpose of diagnosis, biopsy, or surgery.

Large Intestine   Dico Tools
Part of the intestine that changes stool from a liquid to a solid form by absorbing water. Often simply called the colon, but in fact includes the appendix, cecum, colon, and rectum; has a total length of about 5 feet (1.5 m).

Larynx   Dico Tools
Greek = voice-box, adjective - laryngeal.

Lata   Dico Tools
Latin latus = side.

LATENCY (adjective LATENT)   Dico Tools
The state in which a disease-causing organism is present in the body, but not actively replicating or causing illness.

Lateral   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin latus = side, hence, nearer the side.

A simple serologic procedure to detect antibody by the clumping of antigen coated particles.

Latex Allergy   Dico Tools
An allergic reaction to the proteins found in natural rubber (see Allergies).

Latissimus   Dico Tools
Superlative of adjective, Latin latus = wide, hence, latissimus dorsi muscle, the widest muscle of the back; earlier name was anitersor - wiper of the anus.

LAXATIVE   Dico Tools
An agent that promotes bowel evacuation (defecation).

LECITHIN   Dico Tools
A fatty compound required for proper metabolism.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy   Dico Tools
Thickening of the left ventricle, the chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the body (see Hypertension).

Leg   Dico Tools
The lower limb between the knee and the ankle.

Lemniscus   Dico Tools
Greek lemniskos = a band or ribbon (applied to nerve fibres).

Lens   Dico Tools
Latin = lentil - a transparent body with one or both surfaces curved to re-direct light rays, adjective - lentiform or lenticular.

Lentiform   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin lens = lentil, and forma = shape, hence, lentil-shaped.

Leptin   Dico Tools
A hormone produced by the ob (obese) gene and secreted by fat tissue that acts on the brain to regulate appetite (See Weight Management).

Leptomeninx   Dico Tools
Greek lepto = delicate, and meninx = membrane. Usually refers to pia and arachnoid. Plural leptomeninges.

LESION   Dico Tools
A tissue injury or wound.

LEUKINE   Dico Tools
See granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

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LEUKOCYTE   Dico Tools
An immune system white blood cell (e.g, T-cell, B-cell, neutrophil).

Leukotriene Blockers   Dico Tools
Asthma medications that work by blocking the production or action of leukotrienes, chemicals made in the body as part of an allergic reaction (see Asthma).

Leukotrienes   Dico Tools
Chemicals responsible for inflammation of the airways in diseases such as asthma (see Allergies).

Levator   Dico Tools
Latin = elevator.

An inflammatory disease of the skin and mucous membranes characterized by red or purple bumps or blotches. The cause of lichen planus is not known, but it appears to be an autoimmune condition.

Lien   Dico Tools
Latin = spleen, adjective - lienal.

Ligament   Dico Tools
Stretchy tough band of cord-like tissue that connects bones together, and confers stability by restraining excessive joint movement.

Limb Girdle Joints   Dico Tools
Hip and shoulder joints.

Limbic   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin limbus = a margin, usually curved.

Limbic System   Dico Tools
Brain structures associated with emotions, such as anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal (see Anxiety).

Limbus   Dico Tools
Latin = a margin, usually curved, hence, limbus of cornea, its circular junction with the sclera, adjective - limbic; limbic lobe of the brain comprises structures which encircle the junction of the diencephalon and telencephalon.

Limen   Dico Tools
Latin = a threshold, hence, subliminal - below threshold.

Linea   Dico Tools
Latin = line.

Lingua   Dico Tools
Latin = tongue, adjective, lingual.

Lingula   Dico Tools
Diminutive of lingua, hence, a little tongue, adjective - lingular.

Lipedema   Dico Tools
An accumulation of excess fat and fluid in the tissues just under the skin. Most commonly this is in a pattern, often referred to as saddle bags, where there are fatty bulges on the upper thigh that extend to the lower legs but not affecting the feet.

LIPID   Dico Tools
A fat.

Lipids   Dico Tools
Fats, oils, and waxes that serve as building blocks for cells of the body or as energy sources; also capable of accumulating in the artery walls to form the plaques of atherosclerosis (see Cardiovascular Health, High Cholesterol).

A syndrome that involves abnormal lipid metabolism and redistribution of body fat.

Production of lipids (fats).

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Lipoprotein(a)   Dico Tools
A type of lipid that is similar in structure to LDL (see Cardiovascular Health).

Lissencephalic   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek lissos = smooth, hence, a cerebrum lacking sulci.

LIVER   Dico Tools
A large organ on the upper right side of the abdomen that plays an important role in the metabolism of sugars and fats, synthesizes several proteins, and filters toxins from the blood.

Malignant proliferation of cells in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer in people with chronic hepatitis is hepatocellular carcinoma.

LIVER CELL   Dico Tools
See hepatocyte.

See aminotransferase.

A set of blood tests that measure levels of liver enzymes, proteins, and various other substances. Liver function tests are used to help diagnose liver disease, assess the degree of liver damage and determine how well treatment is working.

A person who donates an organ or part of an organ while alive to another person.

LOBE   Dico Tools
One of the four anatomical divisions of the liver; lobes are further divided into lobules.

Lobule   Dico Tools
Diminutive of lobus.

A structural unit consisting of hepatic (liver) cells shaped like a hexagon with six portal triads surrounding a central vein.

Lobules   Dico Tools
Milk-producing glands of the breast (see Breast Cancer).

Lobulus   Dico Tools
Latin diminutive of lobus, hence, a lobule.

Lobus   Dico Tools
Greek lobos = lobe, adjective - lobar.

Locus   Dico Tools
Precise location of a gene on a chromosome.

Locus Ceruleus   Dico Tools
An area of the brainstem that helps determine which stimuli are worth paying attention to. A malfunction of the locus ceruleus may contribute to anxiety (see Anxiety).

LOG   Dico Tools
A measure based on the logarithmic scale that refers to quantities in factor of ten. A log change is an exponential, or 10-fold, increase or decrease (e.g., a change from 10 to 100 is a 1-log increase; a change from 1,000,000 to 10,000 is a 2-log decrease). Viral load is sometimes expressed in logs.

Loin   Dico Tools
Latin lumbus - the part of the back between the ribs and the hip bone.

Longissimus   Dico Tools
Superlative of Latin longus = long, hence, the longest.

Longitudinal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin longitudo = length, hence, lengthwise.

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Longus   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin = long, hence, longissimus (superlative) = the longest.

Low-calorie Diet   Dico Tools
A weight-loss diet that allows only 8001,500 calories a day (See Weight Management).

Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL)   Dico Tools
Spherical particles that transport cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, which can cause the buildup of plaque in the arteries; called "bad" cholesterol because high levels are associated with a high risk for heart attack (see Cardiovascular Health, High Cholesterol).

LTI   Dico Tools
LTI (Lean Tissue Index) is calculated as the quotient of LTM/Height (kg/m). The LTI gives information about the nutrition status.

LTM   Dico Tools
LTM (Lean Tissue Mass) represents the body mass without adipose tissue and excess extracellular water (overhydration). FMT shows LTM in kilograms (kg) as well as in relation to body weight (%).

Lucidum   Dico Tools
Latin lucidus = clear.

Lumbar   Dico Tools
Adjective - see loin.

Lumbrical   Dico Tools
Latin lumbricus = worm, hence worm-shaped muscles of the palm.

Lumen   Dico Tools
Latin = opening, hence the space within a tube.

Lunate   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin luna = moon, hence, crescentic.

LUPUS   Dico Tools
See systemic lupus erythematosus.

Luteum   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin = yellow.

Lyme Disease   Dico Tools
A disease transmitted by a tick bite; characterized by skin changes, flulike symptoms, and joint inflammation (see Arthritis).

Lymph   Dico Tools
The clear, watery protein-rich fluid found in the lymphatic vessels.

Lymph Drainage Massage   Dico Tools
The technique used by estheticians or massage therapists to stimulate lymph flow to enhance health in clients other than those with lymphedema.

A small, bean-sized organ located throughout the body, with concentrations in the neck, groin, and armpits. Lymph nodes filter out antigens and are the site of immune cell activation.

Lymph Nodes   Dico Tools
Specialized structures located within the lymphatic vessels that filter lymph before it returns to the circulatory system. There are between 600 to 70 lymph nodes present at birth. throughout the adult body. Although these nodes can increase, or decrease, in size throughout life, any damaged or destroyed nodes do not regenerate.

Lymph Stasis   Dico Tools
Stoppage or the slowing down of the flow of lymph.

Lymph Veins   Dico Tools
Larger lymph vessels that are formed when several lymph capillaries join together; also known as lymphatics.

Lymphadenectomy   Dico Tools
The surgical removal of one or more lymph nodes.

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Lymphadenitis   Dico Tools
Inflammation of one or more lymph nodes (lymph glands); also known as swollen glands or swollen lymph nodes.

Lymphadenopathy   Dico Tools
Any disease process that affects the lymph nodes; also known as swollen glands. This condition is usually an indication that an infection or other pathology is present.

Lymphangiectasia   Dico Tools
Malformation and disorder of the of lymphatic capillaries or collectors.

Lymphangiogenesis   Dico Tools
The formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing lymphatic vessels during embryonic development and later in life during wound healing.

Lymphangiography   Dico Tools
A radiographic study of lymphatic structures following the injection of an oil-based contrast medium. (The purpose of the contrast medium is to make the lymph vessels and nodes visible on the x-rays.) This oil-based substance damages lymphatic vessels and this procedure is no longer used in the diagnosis of lymphedema.

Lymphangion   Dico Tools
A segment of lymphatic vessel located between two valves; also known as an angion. The constrictions at the valves create the string of pearls appearance of a lymph vein.

Lymphatic   Dico Tools
Pertaining to lymph.

Lymphatic Capillaries   Dico Tools
A fine mesh-like network of tiny blind-ended tubes distributed in the tissue spaces and just under the skin.

Lymphatic Ducts   Dico Tools
The right lymphatic duct and the thoracic duct that return lymph to the circulatory system.

A network of organs and vessels that help maintain the fluid environment of the body and coordinate immune responses. The lymphoid organs include the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, tonsils, and adenoids.

Lymphatic Trunks   Dico Tools
The largest lymphatic vessels that transport lymph to the lymphatic ducts.

Lymphatics   Dico Tools
Larger lymph vessels that are formed when several lymph capillaries join together; also known as lymph veins.

Lymphedema   Dico Tools
A condition that occurs when the lymphatic drainage system is impaired to the extent that the amount of lymphatic fluid within a given area exceeds the capacity of the lymphatic transport system to remove it.

A type of white blood cell (e.g., T-cell, B-cell, natural killer cell) that plays a role in the body's immune defense.

A deficiency of lymphocytes.

Lymphoedema   Dico Tools
The alternative spelling of lymphedema that is used in many nations other than the United States.

Lymphologist   Dico Tools
A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the lymphatic system; Also a practitioner, other than a physician, who uses the title of lymphologist to describe their alternative medicine treatments for a wide variety of disorders.

Lymphology   Dico Tools
The study of the lymphatic system; also known as lymphangiology.

Lymphoma   Dico Tools
A general term applied to cancers of the lymphatic system.

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